Last year at Sale Creek the Blue Devils recorded their first victory of the season and the Panthers come into Friday night’s game at Wallace Black Field looking to return the favor.
So it would be with the Panthers posting their first victory of the season at the Devil’s expense 37-28.
Michael Garcia kick put the Panthers in business at their own 40-yard line. From there the Panthers needed only 8 plays, 7 of them featuring the running of Ridge Morgan, to hit the board at the 7:38 mark. The 2-point PAT was good and the Panthers were out to an 8-0 lead. Things continued to look bleak for the Devils as they lost the on side kick and the Panthers were again on offense at the Devil’s 45. The Devil defense stiffened and a forced fumble at the Harriman 28, which was recovered by Cameron Anderson who subsequently went 60 yards to pay dirt narrowing the Panther lead to 6-8. Following the kickoff, the Devil defense remained solid forcing the Panthers to go 3 and out. The Devils then mounted a sustained ground attack from their 28 yard line which featured runs from Campbell, Stokes, Anderson and Pelfrey, with Pelfrey going in from the 1 with the go ahead score. Grayson Kreis took in the 2-point PAT and with the 1st quarter coming to a close the Devils were in front 14-8.
The Panthers next possession, to begin the 2nd quarter, was again checked by the Devil defense and the Panther punt set the Devils up at their own 22. From there Pelfrey hit Stokes and the pass and run moved the ball to the Panther 42.
It was at this point that Pelfrey was lost to the Devils. With Campbell and Brayden Turner sharing the QB chores the Devils moved to the Panther 16 and seemed to be on their way to extending their lead when an interception and return to the 27 ended the threat. The Panthers could only mount a 22 yard drive before turning the ball over on downs at their own 48. The Devils were unable to capitalize and the half ended with the home team up 14-8.
Following the second half kickoff the Devils went to work from their own 32. On the second play of the half, Stokes went 68 yards to the Panther end zone and with Campbell providing the 2 point PAT the Devils seemed well on their way to their second win as the score stood at 22-8 Harriman with 11:22 left in the third quarter. Following Garcia’s kickoff, the Panthers began at their own 40. Grayson Cooper now joined Morgan in the Panther backfield and the duo supplied the necessary yardage to the end zone with Cooper going the last two yards and then adding the 2-point PAT. With 6:49 left in the third the score was now 22-16 Devils. The narrowed margin was short lived, however, as following the kickoff; Campbell shouldered the load and covered the 40 yards to the end zone in only three plays. The PAT was no good but the lead went back up to 28-16 with 5:12 to play in the third. Following the kickoff, the scoring freeze continued with the Panther’s Ridge and Cooper combining to put the ball in the end zone and with the 2 point PAT the lead was again narrowed, this time to 28-24 Harriman. The final possessions by both teams in the third were futile and the 3rd ended 28-24 Devils.
The Devils were on offense to begin the 4th but were unable to move and their punt gave the Panthers good field position at the Harriman 48. From there Ridge and Cooper added Nick Hall to their running roster and Hall took them to pay dirt. The PAT failed but the Panthers took the lead for the only time that counts, the last time. The Panthers were now up 30-28. On their next possession the Devils coughed up the ball at their own 23 and on the first play following the exchange, Justin Griffin went around the end to pay dirt and the scoring for the evening ended with the Panthers up 38-27.
Next up for the Blue Devils will be a District game at Sunbright next Friday with kickoff slated for 7:30.